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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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SI 6    -                        LIFE  OF
defeated all plans of travel, while Paris could be safely
inhabited beneath the protection of the consulate,
therefore departure from thence was postponed to the
winter.
The life in Paris was spent as it had been, on the
previous occasion, and all the eminent Germans and
other talented men living in Paris again frequented
Madame von Humboldt's saloons. Among others
whose society they enjoyed was that of Rahel Levin,
who visited them here, and with whom, a great
intimacy seems to have subsisted.
In May, 1800, Madame von Humboldt was again
confined of twins, a boy and a girl, of whom, the
former died shortly after his birth; the girl was named
Adelheid. The birth of these children had been
greeted in the elegy mentioned upon a former occa-
sion. The departure from Paris was now again
delayed, but in the spring of 1801 everything was
prepared for it. On the last day of May they intended
to proceed to Erfurt and Jena, and spend the winter
in Tegel, when a sudden plan again delayed the
journey a few months.
After the Spanish journey, Humboldt had devoted
himself principally to the study of the Basque, Paris
afforded him opportunities for this which he would
have found nowhere else. He immediately planned
a Basque-Spanish dictionary, compiled from the rare
works and manuscripts in the extensive royal library.
Many of the latter he copied verbatim, and received
some pages on the language of the Basques from
St. Croix, an eminent French philologian.
But all this did not satisfy his desire for knowledge.
On the point of departing for Germany, he turned
suddenly again to the south. This time he left his
family in Paris, and undertook a second journey into
the Spanish and French Basque provinces, with the
intention of completing, by verbal communication,
what was much too imperfect in the printed works.
Ho spent several weeks in the most retired mountain-
districts of the country, and especially sought out the